Sunday, June 23, 2013

Let the Holy Spirit Guide

I am a good teacher, but I realized this week, I'm a good teacher as far as skills go. I realized that what has been lacking in my teaching has been the reliance on the Holy Ghost. We read "the 4th missionary" talk this week, and I realized that I have very much been a third missionary. (*The 4th missionary talk goes through the 4 different types of missionaries type 1: disobedient/goes home 2: disobedient all throughout mission but stays, 3: serves mission, is obedient, but still reserves thoughts/desires/will for herself, 4: gives thoughts, heart, will to the Lord). I've been obedient, I've been working hard, but I still kind of reserved my thoughts for myself. I have always been a plan-aheader, but I came to the realization, that on the mission I very much have to be living in the here and now. 

My personal prayers have improved dramatically since coming on a mission. I read an article in this month's Ensign about what our personal prayers reveal about us. I've been trying to set aside time each morning and night to really pray, really communicate with my Heavenly Father about my area, my companion, the sisters in the zone, everything. I have felt the influence of the Holy Ghost so much stronger since implementing this. 

We had a miracle with this. One Morning, during a personal prayer the image of my companion and I knocking on the door of a less-active, Hna Perez, we had tried the Sunday before came into my head. I didn't pay much attention to it, but later that day, the same image popped into my head during another prayer. We visited Hna Perez and came to find that it was a family that has been sealed in the temple, and hasn't come to church in 7 years! We found out as well that next door lived the son of this less-active woman. On our way out, we tried him. He wasn't too thrilled to see us, but his girlfriend, Ashley, was. She asked him if we could come in, but he hesitated because he was about to watch a movie, and so she said, "fine! well, I'm going out there to talk to them." She came out to talk to us, and told us that she had seen our car the Sunday before. She had been thinking about how she needed to find a church, or start going to a church. She (Ashley) had texted a Jehovah's Witness friend asking if she could study with them, but for some reason that option wasn't available. Ashley had been so excited when she had seen our car on Sunday, but we hadn't knocked on her door. She had seen our car again that day, and had said to herself, "If they knock on my door, I have to talk to them!"

It was such a miracle, and we were so happy and thrilled! We know that it was a blessing for our willingness to let the Spirit guide our work. I love moments like these. I am trying so hard to improve myself so that the Lord can use me as an instrument in my hands. Sometimes I get frustrated, because try as I might, I can't seem to help investigators to progress towards baptism. It has been a humbling experience, but this week, as I realized the difference as I've been trying to depend on the spirit more and more I thought, 'I'm glad I haven't had a baptism! Because, I don't know if I would have learned all I've learned, or tried as hard as I'm trying.'

I don't know if Heavenly Father will bless me with the ability to see the fruits of my labors. But, I know that if he doesn't it is all for a wiser purpose. I love the plan and trust in the plan my Father in Heaven has for me. 

In other news: 
-Roberto & Manuela dropped us. :( They were given some sort of Anti video by their church.
-Brenda & Joaquin totally back together!
-Milton may or may not have asked us about the Abrahamic Covenant and how it relates to the Libro de Mormon. He brought up the 12 tribes of Israel last week, and went Isaiah chapters on us. It was great.
-I went on exchanges with Sis Maile & Sis Kidd. They are brand new to the mission! It was such a great exchange we made friends with a Vietnamese Catholic priest, who wanted to practice speaking English with me, and called us that same day for a finding faith in christ DVD.
- Had a leadership training meeting in Liberty, TX. There's a Spanish area there, and it is COUNTRY. I want to serve there more than anything. I drove for sooooo long.
- Elder Golden of the 70 is coming to the mission to tour. I have to play the piano for a zone conference and I'm super nervous!!!! pray for me!

With love,
Hna Flores

p.s. sorry no photos! It's so hot, and my hair is in a bun ALL THE TIME!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The scientific method.

The key word for our week: "experiment." After last week's email session, we went and taught Nancy, who's your logical thinker to a T. She understands the inner workings of the Catholic church and is willing to experiment herself. In our Book of Mormon reading towards the beginning of the week we were on Alma 32, and verse 27 caught our attention, 
" But behold, if ye will awake and arouse your faculties, even to an experiment upon my words, and exercise a particle of faith, yea, even if ye can no more than desire to believe, let this desire work in you, even until ye believe in a manner that ye can place for a portion of my words."
 We had several "experiments" this week. First off! Hallelujah Hna Dedrick did NOT go home. :) We're all very happy here. It was SUCH a close call though, we were literally down to the haywire, and it was an 11th hour decision. But, Hna Dedrick experimented with the power of a priesthood blessing, and it changed things for her. I felt so blessed to witness it. 
  We also experimented with the way we attack our goals. This week, we first took care of all our member presents, then later focused on other and Less-Active recent convert lessons. We ended up teaching the highest amount of lessons that I have taught in this area thus far. 
  I feel like my whole mission is an experiment, sometimes I feel like I'm a guinea pig with this whole age change thing. I feel like the generation of sister missionaries I came out with, we're kind of on this trial run figuring things out as we go. I'm still the Sister Training Leader for the zone in this transfer. There are now, 12 sisters in our zone all the sister companionships in our zone are in trios so that means that I get to go on a whole lot of exchanges. Every sister in the zone is training so that means I'll be going on exchanges with brand new missionaries. I finally feel like an older Hermana & I hit my 9 moth mark this week! :) Starting Wednesday it all goes down hill, time wise that is. 
   Also, I've come to the conclusion that Mormonism is a thinking man's religion. I was talking to my District Leader about this the other day...Mormonism is very logical. What other religion has discussions about deep doctrine or encourages it's members to question their beliefs and experiment for themselves whether what we claim is true or not. The Book of Mormon itself starts with an experiment. In the introduction we're asked to 1. read the Book of Mormon, 2. Ponder in our hearts the message, and 3. Ask God, in the name of Christ if the Book is true. Sounds like an experiment if I ever heard one! The key is to realize that God can not be confined to the logic of man, our ways our not God's ways, and thank goodness for that!

Te amo times a millz.
living legends shout out!
fil-a post district mtg. #siempre

a companionship.

So surprise, we're actually in a companionship! Hna Dedrick ended up going home. She played with our heartstrings to the very end! :) We miss her. It took some getting used to. Hna Post and I kept feeling like we were a trio just missing a member, but we've finally gotten the hang of this companionship thing. Hna Dedrick left bright and early Friday morning. Friday was such a sad day. The last time I felt that pang of sadness was when my trainer left home. The reality of it is that all of my other companions are still here, and they probably all will be till my very last transfer. But, with Hna Dedrick & Hna Maughan, I won't be seeing them for at least another 8 months. 

Hna Post and I had some really great experiences this weekend! We taught a lesson to Milton F. We met Milton earlier this week, while trying to track down some potentials from the Hour of Power a couple of weeks before. We decided to knock Milton's door (he lived across the street). Milton is from El Salvador, he currently attends a church called "church of Christ." Creo? Not really sure. He read all of the pamphlet though, and did the additional studies at the back (NOBODY does that). He doesn't believe Joseph Smith saw God & Jesus Christ (...yet) because of the fact that the Bible teaches that God has appeared to no man. But, we extended a baptismal invitation, and he offered the closing prayer praying to know if Joseph Smith really did see God the Father and Jesus Christ. 

Saturday afternoon, we went and tried Blanca & Luis. We met Blanca one Saturday last transfer when we were trying different approaches with door contacts. Blanca and Luis are 7th day adventists. But, we found out this week that Luis isn't really active in the church, and hasn't been for a good minute. Hna Post and I pulled up to their home, and got really nervous because we saw their driveway packed with cars. Hna Post looked at me and said, "Should we just come back another day?" We offered a prayer asking Heavenly Father for help and courage because we felt really nervous, but we went in and had an amazing experience. 

There were about 10 people in the room, Blanca, Luis, their children, their children's spouses, and their children's children. At the beginning, only Blanca, Luis, and their Son-in-law were paying any attention to us. Our meeting first started out with a debate between Luis and his Son-in-law they were arguing about whether or not he has to go to church. It was very comical. We were kind of just watching all this confusion. Luis' son-in-law, told us that he had basically just converted to 7th day Adventist to save his marriage (he was Pentecostal) & it was so funny, he told us, "I know if we would have kept living in Mexico, my wife would have become Pentecostal too!" Meanwhile, she was shaking her head in the background. 

We shared the restoration in just a couple of sentences, but the spirit was so strong. We testified of the truth boldly and powerfully, and I felt so happy in that moment to be a member of the church. When we first came in we were only speaking with Luis, Blanca, and the son-in-law, but towards the end EVERYONE was listening. There must have been like 10 people there. It was crazy. We gave pass-along cards to everybody and they invited us back. We suspect that Luis' big problem with his church has to do with tithing; his big excuse was about how tithing made religion like politics. We explained how tithing worked in our church, and how nobody was paid for their service in the church, and it stunned them all. They didn't know what to say! It was so good. So good that let's just say by the end, one of their daughters asked if she could hook me up with her brother. #awkward

Sunday, we met with Manuela & Roberto, we met Manuela and Roberto two weeks ago, while trying to contact a former investigator. They were just sitting outside and we decided to talk to them. They on-and-off-edly attend a Pentecostal church with their neighbors. They told us their neighbors had started asking them what they were doing talking to us. The first time we met Manuela and Roberto they both cried, they explained to us how their son was in an immigration facility. Roberto said that first time we met them, "I know you have the Holy Ghost, because I only cry when I feel the Holy Ghost." This week we extended the baptismal invitation, and we taught them about the Book of Mormon. Roberto loved it! He was so excited to keep on reading it towards the end. 

Other investigator updates.
1. Joaquin & Brenda broke up. Brenda moved out (of our area) and so we can't teach her. 
2. Pedro & Victoria are progressing, slowly, but surely.
3. Nancy is on vacation so we haven't been able to teach her!

I love sharing the gospel. I know what sets us apart from the rest, is that we literally don't try to "convince" people with passages of scriptures or verses from the Bible. Our invitation is simple, read the Libro de Mormon, pray to know, and let the answer change your life. I love being a missionary. I would have it no other way. 

Te amo times a millz, 
Hna Flores

Our trio & Pedro y Victoria. I love them!
We had our Missionary Leadership Council meeting in kingwood, and we had to take a crazy roundabout journey home. There was a death on the Beltway 8 and there was no other way to get home. So here we are just a happy little bunch of Sister Training Leaders while our trainees sit waiting for us in a parking lot some 20mi away. 
9 months! yay!
taken at 9pm. For realls.
The sunset was breathtaking. :)

Sunday, June 9, 2013



I've been trying to figure out the solution to the following question, "how do you raise a ward's self esteem?" There's this kind of depressing attitude in the ward (church congregation) I'm serving in. They seem to think of themselves as 'black sheep' with cries of, "we're the poorest ward.' 'we want to move to this ward instead.' Last night we dropped in on Hna Marroquin (primary president) and she said, "We have to take pride in our ward like we have prides about our home countries. This is our ward, and we have to fight for it."

I know that missionary work is the cure-all. We have so many return missionaries living within our ward boundaries, and we just have to excite and rekindle that missionary fire in the ward. My companions and I are planning an activity, a "fiesta de 'P'" so to speak, pelicula (the other side of heaven), palomitas (popcorn), pijamas (pajamas), and pizza!

We're working hard to help change the attitude of the ward, this situation reminds me VERY much of a story President Monson shared once in conference about Kingston, Canada a place missionaries had labeled, "stony kingston" because no one baptized there. President Monson closed the area, but then built up the hype about the area talking it up as the place where President Brigham Young once baptized 35 people. (full story found here. My companions and I have a similar plan of attack, we've decided that every time we are in a member's home, we are going to talk the ward up a storm, we're going to help the members feel that their ward is something to be proud of!

In other news, Saturday we had a knock at our door, a pair of Jehovah's Witnesses came to share their message. I know what it's like to be a missionary and knock doors so we opened and spoke to them. We explained how we were Mormon missionaries, and they had actually just caught us during the middle of our studies. They proceeded then to kind of attack us, asking us where in the bible it said the Mormon church was true, what God's name was, etc. The interesting thing was that all the things they used to ask us, I helped them to see didn't exactly strengthen their beliefs or arguments. For example, we taught them briefly the Plan of Salvation about the reason Adam and Eve were sent, etc. He questioned us saying "where in the bible does it say that?" But, the man later proceeded to say that God had stopped the angels from stopping Satan, that he wanted Adam and Eve to create a perfect people, and I asked, "well, where in the Bible does it say that?" Hna Dedrick pointed out that in the end, we learned nothing really about their beliefs, except that they don't at all agree with ours, but we were able to bear testimony about the nature of God, the plan of Salvation, and our ultimate purpose on earth.

Lastly, we started teaching Pedro how to read! We bought a little tablet to help him learn to write letters, and we've also been leaving him assignments to find and circle letters in the Book of Mormon. The other day, we wrote letters and words on a dry erase board to help him recognize and learn to read small words. Pedro only knows how to right his full name in All-caps so we wrote down his name on a board and had him sound it out. I wish you all could see the joy on his face when he sounded out, "peh-d-ro." He brightened up when he said, "That's my name!!!!" It was so cute. Pedro has a desire to know what he needs to do to follow Jesus Christ, and this Saturday we're planning on showing him the restoration movie and extending a baptismal date. So pray for us please! We need your combined faith! I love you all. I love the ward I'm in, it's the best.

Hna Flores

Picking up supplies at Zone Conference. :]
free lunch at a member's taco truck!
It was Christopher's birthday (he turned 12) and so we made a chocolate cake with sparkle candles! Christopher and his mother are recent converts and he got the priesthood on Sunday! :]